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Myanmar grants early release to soldiers jailed for killing Muslim Rohingya

The seven soldiers were imprisoned over the killings of Rohingya Muslims [AFP]

Date of publication: 27 May, 2019

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Seven soldiers jailed for killing Rohingya villagers served less than a year of their ten-year sentences, according to officials.
Seven soldiers imprisoned for the killing of ten Rohingya men and boys in 2017 have been granted early release by Myanmar, according to a report by Reuters, citing two former fellow inmates and soldiers.

According to the sources, the soldiers were freed in November after serving less than a year into their 10-year sentences.

Their release was also confirmed by Sittwe Prison's chief warden and an unnamed official from the country's capital, Naypyitaw.

"Their punishment was reduced by the military," the official told Reuters.

The seven soldiers participated in Myanmar's brutal military clampdown on the country's Rohingya minority, which forced around 740,000 of the Muslim-majority group to flee to Bangladesh.

UN investigators described the crackdown, which included mass killings, rapes and arson, as having "genocidal intent".

The soldiers released in November were the only security personnel punished over the brutal operation in Rakhine state.

Following their imprisonment last year, the head of Myanmar's military told the UN that his redime would "not forgive" those who committed crimes, referring specifically to the case of the soldiers jailed for the killings at Inn Dinn village.

"The latest crime we punished was a killing, and ten years' imprisonment was given to seven perpetrators," Senior General Min Aung Hlaing told officials from the UN Security Council in April. "We will not forgive anyone if they commit (a) crime."

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